4, 5, 6, 7, S at Grand Central-42nd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
From a single original shop on University Place, Café Spice has expanded into a mid-Atlantic mini-chain. The restaurants take the middle ground between high-end formality and low-end curry shops, mixing stylish décor with moderate prices. The menu slants away from the familiar outlay, with excursions into diverse pan-Indian regions. Lamb is cooked as ginger-tinged chops, a Punjabi-style braised khaday masala ka gosht, or as a hot Goan vindaloo with potatoes. The vegetable curry is also Goan, served in a salty, tangy red sauce. Potli samosas, beggar’s pouch-shaped turnovers, are topped by twisted dough and stuffed with salty ground lamb. As a chain, attention to detail can sometimes be lacking, although breads are consistently tasty. Airy naans are served piping hot, available in rosemary, onion, garlic, cheese, and lamb variations. The University Place location is understated, with colorful overhead lighting and industrial exposed-metal ceiling vents. Glossy black tables and wall niches display Indian spices and vegetables. A fast-food-style express outlet is in Grand Central’s food court.Recommended Dishes
Naan, $2.95; thali, $24.95; adraki champ, $24.95